Negociated indictment of a prime minister

14 March 2005 by Laurent Abadie

The Prime Minister of Kosovo, Ramush Haradinaj, who is accused of crimes against humanity and of violating the laws and customs of war, is the first serving politician to be indicted by the ICTY since the ex-Yugoslav president, Slobodan Milosevic. A former commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), Haradinaj was elected by parliament on 3 December to serve in the UN-administered province. On 8 March, he resigned, preferring to face the UN court "as a common citizen".

Haradinaj\'s resignation did not come as a surprise. He had already spoken of that possibility after being interviewed by ICTY investigators on 10 November in Pristina. More astonishing, however, was the total calm surrounding his transfer to the Scheveningen detention centre in The Hague. Many observers feared this would trigger a fresh outbreak of rioting, similar to the anti-Serb protests of March 2004, this time targeting members of the international community. Yet there have been no reports of violence to date.

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